Churchill by Samantha Heywood

By Samantha Heywood

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Apparently unlikely allies, they consistently defied convention throughout their careers, resisting the mould of party politics to suit their own convictions, and redefining the role of the office of Prime Minister. The most obvious comparison is of their leadership during the two world wars: Lloyd George’s during the first and Churchill’s in the second. Both men were made Prime Minister not by election but in response to crises of confidence in the government of the time, and both were leaders of coalitions.

6 Kitchener’s domination of the War Council explains the fact that it accepted, without question, his unilateral decision to convert what had been a purely naval assault to a combined one, and allowed the campaign orders for the landings to be given out without having seen or discussed them first. He had dominated the War Council since its establishment in 1914 when he had been appointed Secretary of State for War. His public reputation was immense, having been Commander-in-Chief during the Boer War and served in both India and Egypt – cornerstones of the British Empire.

Addison refers, in this excerpt, to Churchill’s ‘paternalism’ and points out that his willingness to deploy force was simply the flip side of his commitment to reform, both of these impulses inspired by his belief that the people needed to be governed and guided from above for their own good. Churchill also had ‘ambitious’ plans for penal reform which would probably have courted controversy too, had he had the time to complete them. 16 RADICAL, 1900–1911 2 WARMONGER, 1911–1915 BACKGROUND NARRATIVE This period was the most tumultuous of Churchill’s long and chequered career.

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